Angie Hughes – Inspiring and unforgettable “Waterworld” workshop

It is not very often that you spend a Monday morning listening to a truly inspirational and talented textile artist.  Our June workshop unfortunately had to be taught over Zoom but Angie Hughes was extremely well organised and she shared a wonderful variety of techniques with the theme of “Waterworld” with emphasis on using soluble materials.

Angie sea weeds inspiration 2
Sea weeds for inspiration

Angie started by showing us an image that she was using as inspiration for the workshop and talked about various textile artists she admired and who used soluble materials in their work.  She then went on to show us various videos which showed the use of soluble material and film.  The first was of a grid of nine different squares to practice the different options for creating using soluble fabric and emphasised the importance of ensuring that everything connects otherwise when soaked in water you will be left with a pile of thread rather than a structured design.

Angie Grid 2
Grid for water soluble practise

We were shown how to make various sea related components which we could then bring together on a background.  The first was a fishing net, then various types of seaweed and finally shaped barnacles.  Angie then talked about making covered cord and adapting them to make them more like knobbly seaweed.

During our tea break Angie introduced us to various books which showed the use of soluble fabrics including those written by Jan Beany, Carol Shinn and Meredith Woolnough.

Finally everything had to be brought together on a background which was covered with free machine zigzag stitching and Angie talked about the possibilities of attaching the various seaweeds and barnacles.

Water finsihed
Bringing all the elements together on a background

This was such an enjoyable and informative morning and I know everyone took away with them so many ideas and techniques to add to their work.

Thank you Angie

Write up and photos Ros

Apologies for the quality of some of the photos, they were taken off my laptop!  Hopefully better things to come in the next few months.

Angie’s website:

Angie’s Facebook page:

Angie’s Instagram:

Suzy Wright – Exciting Textile Artist using colour, colour and more colour!

On Thursday 10th June we had a fabulous talk by Suzy Wright, an inspiring and colourful textile artist.

She described growing up in Dorset and her early years at school where, diagnosed as dyslexic, she received very negative feedback from her teachers. The one exception was her art teacher  who praised her work and encouraged her. She went on to do art and textiles at GSCE and, in order to produce the volume of work required, began using a sewing machine to ‘draw’. This was the beginning of a lifelong passion to paint and sew.

Her heart and soul went into her sketchbooks and her project pieces which included a cream calico coat and a peacock coloured fishtail skirt. She went on to Bournemouth College leaving her school work behind for assessment. A fire in the art block of her old school destroyed every piece of work that she had done bar one! This now stays with her wherever she goes.

Suzy Wright Parrot

Like a phoenix, unable to be thwarted by this, she continued her courses, ending up at Westminster University studying fashion design. She quickly realised this was not for her as it was too neat and precise and she felt she had lost her artistic flair. For her internship she worked for Zandra Rhodes and loved it but was still not able to relax into her work enough.

After leaving university early she started working with Kaffe Fasset where she began to catalogue their archive of work. Two years later, having done no sewing of her own, she went home, took over the kitchen, and began to draw and sew. Part time work in a local farm shop gave her some income, something she has continued to do. She was inspired by the fruit and veg that was for sale and was able to hang some of her pieces on the walls of the shop. Here she made her first sale!

Needing her own studio she moved to Glastonbury and then on to a communal workshop in Oxford but, deciding she preferred to be in her own space surrounded by the chaos of her hundreds of reels of threads and pieces of work that she had done, she returned to Dorset.

Suzy Wright close up

Her work is full of colour with solid stitching for which she uses jeans needles as they are stronger. She works on a medium weight calico which she does not put in a hoop as she likes the distortion of the fabrics. She leaves the thread ends on the surface of her pieces, partly because the university of Westminster didn’t like it!!

She loves colour and portraying people, her pieces include Zandra Rhodes, Grayson Perry, Janet Street Porter and a self portrait with her own 3 tropical birds on her head and shoulders. Honesty, she says, is key!

In the future she will be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitch Show this year and, whilst always working on her own projects, will have some small workshops to share her knowledge and passion.

Suzy Wright Parrot 2

Report by Lindsay – thank you Lindsay!

Photos by kind permission of Suzy Wright

Suzy’s website:

Suzy’s Instagram: Instagram@orangethrea dsuzy